Effects of roads on survival of San Clemente Island foxes

Nathan P. Snow, William F. Andelt, Thomas R. Stanley, Jessica R. Resnik, Linda Munson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Roads generate a variety of influences on wildlife populations; however, little is known about the effects of roads on endemic wildlife on islands. Specifically, road-kills of island foxes (Urocyon littoralis) on San Clemente Island (SCI), Channel Islands, California, USA are a concern for resource managers. To determine the effects of roads on island foxes, we radiocollared foxes using a 3-tiered sampling design to represent the entire population in the study area, a sub-population near roads, and a sub-population away from roads on SCI. We examined annual survival rates using nest-survival models, causes of mortalities, and movements for each sample. We found the population had high annual survival (0.90), although survival declined with use of road habitat, particularly for intermediate-aged foxes. Foxes living near roads suffered lower annual survival (0.76), resulting from high frequencies of road-kills (7 of 11 mortalities). Foxes living away from roads had the highest annual survival (0.97). Road-kill was the most prominent cause of mortality detected on SCI, which we estimated as killing 3-8% of the population in the study area annually. Based on movements, we were unable to detect any responses by foxes that minimized their risks from roads. The probabilities of road-kills increased with use of the road habitat, volume of traffic, and decreasing road sinuosity. We recommend that managers should attempt to reduce road-kills by deterring or excluding foxes from entering roads, and attempting to modify behaviors of motorists to be vigilant for foxes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-252
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Volume76
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Fingerprint

roads
road
foxes
Urocyon littoralis
effect
wildlife
managers
subpopulation
mortality
habitats
traffic
survival rate
habitat
nests
road kills
sampling
nest

Keywords

  • California Channel Islands
  • island fox
  • mortality
  • movement
  • road-kill
  • survival
  • Urocyon littoralis
  • vehicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Snow, N. P., Andelt, W. F., Stanley, T. R., Resnik, J. R., & Munson, L. (2012). Effects of roads on survival of San Clemente Island foxes. Journal of Wildlife Management, 76(2), 243-252. https://doi.org/10.1002/jwmg.247

Effects of roads on survival of San Clemente Island foxes. / Snow, Nathan P.; Andelt, William F.; Stanley, Thomas R.; Resnik, Jessica R.; Munson, Linda.

In: Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 76, No. 2, 02.2012, p. 243-252.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Snow, NP, Andelt, WF, Stanley, TR, Resnik, JR & Munson, L 2012, 'Effects of roads on survival of San Clemente Island foxes', Journal of Wildlife Management, vol. 76, no. 2, pp. 243-252. https://doi.org/10.1002/jwmg.247
Snow NP, Andelt WF, Stanley TR, Resnik JR, Munson L. Effects of roads on survival of San Clemente Island foxes. Journal of Wildlife Management. 2012 Feb;76(2):243-252. https://doi.org/10.1002/jwmg.247
Snow, Nathan P. ; Andelt, William F. ; Stanley, Thomas R. ; Resnik, Jessica R. ; Munson, Linda. / Effects of roads on survival of San Clemente Island foxes. In: Journal of Wildlife Management. 2012 ; Vol. 76, No. 2. pp. 243-252.
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